New JV in New Zealand to explore hydrogen production using geothermal

Wairakei geothermal facilities, Taupo/ New Zealand (source: Contact Energy)
Alexander Richter 9 Feb 2018

A Japanese-New Zealand joint venture is exploring the option of a pilot plant to produce hydrogen with geothermal power from a geothermal power plant by Tuaropaki Trust near Taupo, New Zealand.

Reported by various outlets in New Zealand yesterday, a MOU has been signed between Taupo/ NZ-based Tuaropaki Trust and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corp. The company are planning a pilot project that would commercially produce hydrogen using geothermal energy.

Tuaropaki Trust is a Maori owned electricity generator in New Zealand, that operates the Mokai geothermal power plant near Taupo.

According to Tumanako Wereta, Chairman of Tuaropaki, the company has been exploring other renewable energy alternatives and sees hydrogen production utilising geothermal energy as a potential addition to its business.

The companies already signed the MOU in Tokyo in December 2017.  There are no further details available on any possible timing, but it is – to the best of our knowledge – the second country approaching the production of hydrogen utilising geothermal. In the early 2000s, Iceland actually looked at becoming a Hydrogen Society (for a paper on this look here).

Source: Scoop New Zealand